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On the website, it says: ‘Pinterest lets you organise and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes and organise their favourite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.’ The company says its goal is to ‘connect everyone in the world through the “things” they find interesting. We think that a favourite book, toy or recipe can reveal a common link between two people.’
If a user likes a photo on their friend’s board, they can ‘repin’ it (post it on their own board).
According to statistics from Google Ad Planner, 68 percent of the site’s users in the US are women. Sites based on a similar idea to Pinterest, but aimed more at men, are already popping up – Manteresting and Gentlemint. In the UK, the site mainly has male users. Hitwise, which measures website traffic and online consumer behaviour, says visitors are ‘primarily students or graduates in the early stages of working life, who are well educated and live in the urban areas of the UK.’
The interest in the site comes from people’s desire to show their identity through what you like.
Josh Constine, a technology journalist for TechCrunch, told the press: ‘Pinterest isn’t about the things that you have, it’s about the idealised life you’d like to live.’ As such, the focus is on a person’s long-term aspirations and interests, rather than what they are doing now.
The most popular boards are arts and crafts, recipes, seasonal events and holidays.
It is especially popular with fashion fans – one dress has been re-pinned more than 4,000 times! Cooking is also a hit. Many users share foodie photos, from chocolate cakes to steaks.
Brides-to-be also look on the site for inspiration, as there is everything from wedding dresses to table settings. For many, it is like an online scrapbook for a dream wedding. ‘I don’t know how people planned weddings without having Pinterest,’ Emily Green, a young American woman, told the press. Her friend Ashley Campos added: ‘It has helped me from everything from invitation to party favours to decorating the aisle.’
In a recent interview with the Chicago Times, Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann said he was ‘bemused’ at how popular the site had become. He believes its success is due to the different ways it can be used. The site really took off after Silbermann spoke to interior designers, who could immediately see how it could be used for inspiration. ‘When you open the site, you should see things that you love – and be able to connect to the people who found them,’ he said.
If you’d like your own account, go to www.pinterest.com and register. You should get a reply in a few days and you can then link your Facebook or Twitter accounts to the Pinterest account. You can also use the iPhone app. Happy pinning!
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